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With falcons broider'd on each breast,
The soldiers of the guard,
Stood in the castleyard ;
For welcome shot prepared
Old Norbam never heard.
X. The guards their morrice-pikes advanced,
The trumpets flourish'd brave, The cannon from the ramparts glanced,
And thundering welcome gave. A blithe salute, in martial sort,
The minstrels well might sound, For, as Lord Marmion cross'd the court,
He scatter'd angels round.
Stout heart, and open hand!
Thou flower of English land!”
VII. Behind him rode two gallant squires, Of noble name, and knightly sires ; They burn'd the gilded spurs to claim; For well could each a war-horse tame, Could draw the bow, the sword could sway, And lightly bear the ring away ; Nor less with courteous precepts stored, Could dance in ball, and carve at board, And frame love-ditties passing rare, And sing them to a ladye fair,
VIII. Four men-at-arms came at their backs, With halbert, bill, and battle-axe: They bore Lord Marmion's lance so strong, And led his sumpter-mules along, And ambling palfrey, when at need Him listed ease his battle-steed. The last, and trustiest of the four, On high his forky pennon bore; Like swallow's tail, in shape and hue, Flutter'd the streamer glossy blue, Where, blazon'd sable, as before, The towering falcon seem'd to soar. Last, twenty yeomen, two and two, In hosen black, and jerkin blue,
Stood on the steps of stone,
They hail'd Lord Marmion:
Of Tamworth tower and town;
All as he lighted down. “Now, largesse;* largesse, Lord Marmion,
Knight of the crest of gold!
Ne’er guarded heart so bold."
Where the guests stood all aside,
And the heralds loudly cried, _"Room, lordings, room, for Lord Marmion,
With the crest and helm of gold !
* The cry by which the heralds express their thanks for the bounty of the noblez.
Full well we know the trophies won
“ Now pledge me here, Lord Marmion : In the lists at Cottiswold:
But first, I pray thee fair, There, vainly Ralph de Wilton strove
Where hast thou left that page of thine, 'Gainst Marmion's force to stand ;
That used to serve thy cup of wine, To him he lost his ladye love,
Whose beauty was so rare? And to the king his land.
When last in Raby towers we met, Ourselves beheld the listed field,
The boy I closely eyed, A sight both sad and fair;
And often mark'd his cheeks were wet We saw Lord Marmion pierce his shield,
With tears he fain would hide: And saw his saddle bare;
His was no rugged horse-boy's hand, We saw the victor win the crest
To burnish shield, or sharpen brand, He wears with worthy pride;
Or saddle battle steed; And on the gibbet tree, reversed,
But meeter seem'd for lady fair, His foeman's scutcheon tied.
To fan her cheeks, or curl her hair, Place, nobles, for the Falcon-knight!
Or through embroidery, rich and rare, Room, room, ye gentles gay,
The slender silk to lead : For him who conquer'd in the right,
His skin was fair, his ringlets gold, Marmion of Fontenaye !"
His bosom--when he sigh’d,
The russet doublet's rugged fold
Could scarce repel its pride!
Say, hast thou given that lovely youth Sir Hugh, the Heron bold,
To serve in ladye's bower? Baron of Twisell, and of Ford,
Or was the gentle page, in sooth, And captain of the Hold.
A gentle paramour's ?"
Lord Marmion ill could brook such jest;
He rollid bis kindling eye, The whiles a northern harper rude,
With pain his rising wrath suppress'd, Chanted a rhyme of deadly feud,
Yet made a calm reply: “ How the fierce Thirlwalls, and Ridleys all,
“ That boy thou thought'st so goodly fair, Stout Willimondswick,
He might not brook the northern air.
More of his fate if thou wouldst learn,
I left him sick in Lindisfarn :
Enough of him.-But, Heron, say,
Why does thy lovely lady gay
Disdain to grace the hall to-day?
Or has that dame, so sair and sage,
Gone on some pious pilgrimage.”
He spoke in covert scorn, for fame For ladye's suit and minstrel's strain,
Whisper'd light tales of Heron's dame. By knight should ne'er be heard in vain.
Unmark'd, at least unreck'd, the taunt,
Careless the knight replied, “Now, good Lord Marmion,” Heron says,
“ No bird whose feathers gayly flaunt, “Of your fair courtesy,
Delights in cage to bide: I pray you bide some little space
Norham is grim, and grated close, In this poor tower with me.
Hemm'd in by battlement and fosse, Here may you keep your arms from rust,
And many a darksome tower; May breathe your war-horse well;
And better loves my lady bright, Seldom hath pass'd a week, but giust
To sit in liberty and light, Or feat of arms befel:
In fair queen Margaret's bower. The Scots can rein a mettled steed,
We hold our greyhound in our hand, And love to couch a spear ;
Our falcon on our glove; St. George! a stirring life they lead,
But where shall we find leash or band, That have such neighbours near.
For dame that loves to rove? Then stay with us a little space,
Let the wild falcon soar her swing
She'll stoop when she has tired her wing."-
« Nay, if with royal James's bride, XV.
The lovely lady Heron bide, The captain mark'd his alter'd look,
Behold me here a messenger, And gave a squire the sign;
Your tender greetings prompt to bear; A mighty wassail bowl he took,
For, to the Scottish court address'd, And crown'd it high with wine.
I journey at our king's behest,
And pray you, of your grace, provide
Since, on the vigil of St. Bede,
XIX. “For such like need, my lord, I trow, Norham can find you guides enow; For here be some have prick'd as far, On Scottish ground, as to Dunbar; Have drunk the monks of St. Bothan's ale, And driven the beeves of Lauderdale ; Harried the wives of Greenlaw's goods, And given them light to set their hoods."
XX. “Now, in good sooth,” Lord Marmion cried, “ Were I in warlike-wise to ride A better guard I would not lack, Than your stout forayers at my back; But, as in form of peace I go, A friendly messenger, to know, Why, through all Scotland, near and far, Their king is mustering troops for war, The sight of plundering border spears Might justify suspicious fears, And deadly feud, or thirst of spoil, Break out in some unseemly broil: A herald were my fitting guide ; Or friar, sworn in peace to bide ; Or pardoner, or travelling priest, Or strolling pilgrim, at the least.”
XXII. Young Selby, at the fair hall-board, Carved to his uncle, and that lord, And reverently took up the word. “ Kind uncle, wo were we each one, If harm should hap to brother John. He is a man of mirthful speech, Can many a game and gambol teach; Full well at tables can he play, And sweep, at bowls, the stake away. None can a lustier carol bawl, The needfullest among us all, When time hangs heavy in the hall, And snow comes thick at Christmas tide, And we can neither hunt, nor ride A foray on the Scottish side. The vow'd revenge of Bughtrig rude, May end in worse than loss of hood. Let Friar Joho, in safety, still In chimney-corner snore bis fill, Roast hissing crabs, or flagons swill: Last night to Norham there came one Will better guide Lord Marmion.” “Nephew," quoth Heron, “ by my fay, Well hast thou spoke; say forth thy say.”
XXI. The captain mused a little space, And pass'd his hand across his face. -- Fain would I find the guide you want, But ill may spare a pursuivant, The only men that safe can ride Mine errands on the Scottish side: And, though a bishop built this fort, Few holy brethren here resort; E’en our good chaplain, as I ween, Since our last siege, we have not seen ; The mass he might not sing or say, Upon one stinted meal a day; So, sase he sat in Durbam aisle, And pray'd for our success the while. Our Norham vicar, wo betide, Is all too well in case to ride. The priest of Shoreswood-he could rein The wildest warhorse in your train ; But then, no spearman in the hall Will sooner swear, or stab, or brawl. Friar John of Tillmouth were the man; A blithsome brother at the can, A welcome guest iri hall and bower, He knows each castle, town, and tower, In which the wine and ale are good, 'Twixt Newcastle and Holy-Rood. But that good man, as ill befalls, Hath seldom left our castle walls,
XXIII. “ Here is a holy palmer come, From Salem first, and last from Rome : One, that hath kiss'd the blessed tomb, And visited each holy shrine, In Araby and Palestine; On hills of Armenie hath been, Where Noah's ark may yet be seen; By that Red Sea, too, hath he trod, Which parted at the prophet's rod; In Sinai's wilderness he saw The mount, where Israel heard the law, Mid thunder-dint, and flashing levin, And shadows, mists, and darkness, given. He shows Saint James's cockle shell, Of fair Montserrat, too, can tell ;
And of that grot where olives nod, Where, darling of each heart and eye, From all the youth of Sicily,
Saint Rosalie retired to God.
XXIV. “ To stout Saint George of Norwich merry, Saint Thomas, too, of Canterbury, Cuthbert of Durham, and Saint Bede, For his sins' pardon hath he pray'd. He knows the passes of the North, And seeks far shrines beyond the Forth ;
Little he eats, and long will wake,
From hence to Holy-Rood,
With angels fair and good.
With song, romance, or lay:
In his black mantle was he clad,
On his broad shoulders wrought;
Was from Loretto brought;
Or had a statelier step withal,
Or look'd more high and keen :
As he his peer had been.
His eye look'd haggard wild :
She had not known her child.
And blanch at once the hair;
More deeply than despair.
To fair Saint Andrew's bound,
Sung to the billows' sound;
The page presents on knee.
Who drain'd it merrily :
This was the sign the feast was o’er:
The minstrels ceased to sound.
And knight, and squire had broke their fast, And foresters, in greenw bod trim,
Lead in the leash the guzehounds grim, Lord Marmion's bugles blew to horse :
Attentive, as the bratchet's* bay Then came the stirrup cup in course,
From the dark covert drove the prey, Between the baron and his host,
To slip them as he broke away. No point of courtesy was lost;
The startled quarry bounds amain, High thanks were by Lord Marmion paid, As fast the gallant greyhounds strain : Solemn excuse the captain made,
Whistles the arrow from the bow, Till, filing from the gate had past
Answers the harquebuss below; That noble train, their lord the last.
While all the rocking hills reply, Tben loudly rung the trumpet call;
To hoof-clang, hound, and hunters' cry, Thunder'd the cannon from the wall,
And bugles ringing lightsomely.”— And shook the Scottish shore ;
Of such proud huntings, many tales Around the castle eddied slow,
Yet linger in our lonely dales, Volumes of smoke as white as snow,
Up pathless Ettrick, and on Yarrow, And hid its turret's hoar;
Where erst the Outlaw drew his arrow. Till they roll’d forth upon the air,
But not more blith that sylvan court, And met the river breezes there,
Than we have been at humbler sport;
Though small our pomp and mean our game,
Rememberest thou my greyhounds true ?
O’er holt, or hill, there never flew,
From slip, or leash, there never sprang, TO THE REV. JOHN MARRIOT, M. A.
More fleet of foot or sure of fang, Ashestiel, Ettrick Forest. Nor dull, between each merry chase, The scenes are desert now, and bare,
Pass’d by the intermitted space ; Where flourish'd once a forest fair,
For we had fair resource in store, When these waste glens with copse were lined, In classic, and in Gothic lore; And peopled with the hart and hind.
We mark'd each memorable scene, Yon thorn-perchance, whose prickly spears And held poetic talk between; Have fenced him for three hundred years,
Nor hill, nor brook, we paced along, While fell around his green compeers
But had its legend or its song. Yon lonely thorn, would he could tell
All silent now-for now are still The changes of his parent dell,
Thy bowers untenanted Bowhill! Since he, so gray and stubborn now,
No longer, from thy mountains dun, Waved in each breeze a sappling bough;
The yeoman bears the well-known gun, Would he could tell how deep the shade,
And, while his honest heart grows warm, A thousand mingled branches made;
At thought of his paternal farm, How broad the shadows of the oak,
Round to his mates a brimmer fills, How clung the rowan* to the rock,
And drinks, “ The chieftain of the hills !" And through the foliage show'd his head, No fairy forms, in Yarrow's bowers, With narrow leaves, and berries red;
Trip o'er the walks, or tend the flowers, What pines on every mountain sprung,
Fair as the elves whom Janet saw, O'er every dell what birches hung,
By moonlight, dance on Carterhaugh; In every breeze what aspens shook,
No youthful baron's left to grace What alders shaded every brook!
The forest-sheriff's lonely chase, “Here, in my shade,” methinks he'd say, And ape, in manly step and tone, “ The mighty stag at noontide lay:
The majesty of Oberon; The wolf I've seen, a fiercer game,
And she is gone, whose lovely face (The neighbouring dingle bears his name,) Is but her least and lowest grace; With lurching step around me prowl,
Though if to Sylphid queen 'twere given, And stop against the moon to howl;
To show our earth the charms of heaven, The mountain-boar, on battle set,
She could not glide along the air, His tusks upon my stem would whet,
With form more light, or face more fair. While doe and roe, and red-deer good,
No more the widow's deafen'd ear Have bounded by through gay greenwood. Grows quick, that lady's step to hear; Then oft, from Newark's riven tower,
At noontide she expects her not, Sallied a Scottish monarch's power:
Nor busies her to trim the cot; A thousand vassals muster'd round,
Pensive she turns her humming wheel, With horse, and hawk, and horn, and hound; Or pensive cooks her orphan's meal; And I might see the youth intent,
Yet blesses, ere she deals their bread, Guard every pass with crossbow bent;
The gentle hand by which they're fed. And through the brake the rangers stalk,
From Yair-which hills so closely bind, And falconers hold the ready hawk;
Scarce can the Tweed his passage find,